If you want to work online and travel the world but aren’t sure if you should have a remote 9-5 job, start a blog, start freelancing or an online business, then this is for you.
Which pathway allows you to create your own schedule? Which one is more profitable? Which is more freeing? Keep reading and I’ll give you the spicy pros and cons of each!
A Little Background First
I’m Helen and I’ve been working online for the last 10 years. The last three years I travelled through six continents while working from my laptop.
The backstory: In college, I majored in graphic design and immediately started working at startup jobs. A few years after I graduated, 2008 had happened and the economy was shot. There were no jobs at all.
One day I found myself in a coffee shop, desperate for work.
I had my laptop with me and was creating my portfolio so I could start applying for jobs. Somebody leaned over and asked, “Can you make me a logo?” I said, “Sure.”
I went home and I started creating logos. I emailed the logos two weeks later and they replied, “I never heard from you, so I moved on”.
That was the start of my 10 years of freelancing.
I have worn a lot of hats in my career, since I’ve worked at advertising agencies, done the corporate nine-to-five jailcell thing, and built my business while travelling, blogging, and doing affiliate marketing.
I’ve done all of it before and I want to share what works and what doesn’t. Here are four ways you can work online!
Remote 9-5 Job
The remote 9-5 is usually what people assume to be the best step because it’s comfortable. You still have a boss, a team, and work consistent hours.
- Get a 401k match
- Work from anywhere and travel
- Have a salary, healthcare, and taxes taken out
- Limited to working on their timezone
- Can’t create your own schedule
- Limited by your boss and your team financially and growth-wise
- Harder to collaborate with team members virtually
For example, if I had been an employee for a remote company while living in Bali, I’d be working the graveyard shift. This would have taken a toll on my physical and mental health. It can be a challenge to get promoted and you might get stuck in a stagnant salary.
I have made many mistakes during freelancing and learned a lot. This path has a lot of pros and cons, so it depends on what is most important to you.
- Set your own pay, unlike a remote 9-5
- Choose who you work with
- Work remotely and travel
- Work on your own timezone
- Can create a referral program for retaining and getting new clients
- Have to set aside money for taxes and retirement
- Might get random work and your portfolio could become a mess
- Clients might not understand what you specialize in
- Hard to grow because you’re trading time for money
- Difficult to have a flexible schedule because your clients have deadlines
In some cases, your clients may have their own clients that YOU’RE doing the work for. They bring in the clients and they have you facilitate that ask and need. For example, my client was charging $146/hour for a project. Even though I did all the work, the creative deliverables, being on the phone, and presenting everything, I only made $26/hour because I was under somebody else’s company and didn’t get to pocket that full amount.
Blogging and Content Creation
This is another path that people like to go into first when starting a side hustle. You might be a little nervous to go all-in. You don’t know if blogging is going to create enough income to sustain you.
- Create your own schedule
- Land some awesome brand deals
- Enjoy creating content and writing
- Too much work for little conversion
- Hard to make a liveable wage through affiliate links
- Can take a long time to grow
For example, I could blog about five popular places to visit in Madrid. I could link every outfit on ShopStyle, and rewardStyle, and any other affiliate marketing platform that I can find for where I’m going, the tours that I’ve taken, and the restaurants I recommend.
I would spend so much time taking and editing the photos, writing the blog posts, and scheduling them on Instagram and Pinterest to drive traffic to my website. It would take a lot of time and for what? How many people will click through the affiliate links? How much money would I actually make? Not enough to make it worthwhile.
In my opinion, to start an online business is the easiest and fastest way to grow and make money.
But it’s not about money, is it? It’s about freedom.
No one wants to feel financially stressed. We all need to eat food and have a roof over our head. But at the root is dreaming of the ability to do what we want.
- Can work and travel the world
- Create your own flexible schedule
- Be financially free
- No cons to start your own business!
We want to be able to take that afternoon jog around the park or sleep in late. To wake up every morning feeling like “Oh my god, I’m so aligned with what I’m doing in my life’s work”.
Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people who work for a company and feel that. That’s great! I’m so happy for those people.
But something tells me if you’re reading this, that’s not you.
Building your own business can be challenging but if you keep at it, stay consistent and have great support by your side, you will thrive.